Liisa M. Blowes

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Ferritins are protein nanocages that accumulate inside their cavity thousands of oxidized iron atoms bound to oxygen and phosphates. Both characteristic types of eukaryotic ferritin subunits are present in secreted ferritins from insects, but here dimers between Ferritin 1 Heavy Chain Homolog (Fer1HCH) and Ferritin 2 Light Chain Homolog (Fer2LCH) are(More)
The SALMFamides are a family of neuropeptides that act as muscle relaxants in echinoderms. Analysis of genome/transcriptome sequence data from the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (Echinoidea), the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Holothuroidea), and the starfish Patiria miniata (Asteroidea) reveals that in each species there are two types of(More)
The body wall of starfish is composed of magnesium calcite ossicles connected by collagenous tissue and muscles and it exhibits remarkable variability in stiffness, which is attributed to the mechanical mutability of the collagenous component. Using the common European starfish Asterias rubens as an experimental animal, here we have employed a variety of(More)
The mutable collagenous tissue (MCT) of echinoderms (e.g., sea cucumbers and starfish) is a remarkable example of a biological material that has the unique attribute, among collagenous tissues, of being able to rapidly change its stiffness and extensibility under neural control. However, the mechanisms of MCT have not been characterized at the nanoscale.(More)
In Drosophila melanogaster, iron is stored in the cellular endomembrane system inside a protein cage formed by 24 ferritin subunits of two types (Fer1HCH and Fer2LCH) in a 1:1 stoichiometry. In larvae, ferritin accumulates in the midgut, hemolymph, garland, pericardial cells and in the nervous system. Here we present analyses of embryonic phenotypes for(More)
Neuropeptides are ancient regulators of physiology and behaviour, but reconstruction of neuropeptide evolution is often difficult owing to lack of sequence conservation. Here, we report that the receptor for the neuropeptide NGFFFamide in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (phylum Echinodermata) is an orthologue of vertebrate neuropeptide-S (NPS)(More)
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